The term « social entrepreneurship » is gaining increased popularity. However, it can sound a bit blurred to many, it basically points out to people who demonstrate that by taking initiatives and acting, it combines the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and determination. People are attracted to social entrepreneurs like last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus and Bill Drayton. These incredible people came up with outstanding ideas and succeeded to improve people’s lives. Although the use of the term social entrepreneur is growing rapidly; the field of social entrepreneurship lacks rigor and is in its infancy compared to the wider field of entrepreneurship. But we can’t deny the enormous number of Tunisian social entrepreneurs lately with the help and support of several prominent social sector organizations, including Ashoka, Yunus social business on large scale and for the first time in the Mena region in Tunis, an annual Social Entrepreneurship Education Program named Social Impact Award. It has been launched on 17 February 2017, at Startup Haus Tunis with the two inspiring and creative co-founders Ahmed Hadhri as a program director and Yahia Marzouk as a national coordinator. Supported by Enpact Tunisia which is a Tunisian association that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Tunisia and to support entrepreneurs through various projects, it aims to create sustainable employment.
Social Impact Awards is a competition based program that aims to encourage the Tunisian initiatives to take actions towards their society, the SIA team also organizes workshops to explain the concept of social entrepreneurship to Tunisian students. In this context, a workshop on the theme « Idea Generation » was facilitated by Ahmed Hadhri at Startup Haus Tunis on Wednesday 22 March. This workshop was mainly dedicated to students who want to undertake, but can not find social ideas to participate in the SIA competition. The audience proposed many ideas to illustrate the current problems in Tunisia with possible solutions. This workshop aimed to shape these ideas in a way that they can match the criteria for the competition before April the 30th, which will be dedicated to students, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, under the age of 30. They have to apply with the idea of a social enterprise, association or social initiative, eager to try to solve current environmental or social problems in an innovative way with the launch of initiatives, projects or organizations. Projects can be linked to different areas, such as poverty reduction, health, education, environment, energy, ICT, equal opportunities and human rights.
10 finalist teams, selected in May, will benefit from a period of incubation that extends from July to August in order to accelerate their social ideas. They will have free access to the Coworking spaces: Startup Haus Tunis and El Space in downtown Tunis. In September 2017, the finalist teams will be assessed on the social impact, feasibility and innovation by the jury members before selecting 3 winning teams. Each winning team will receive 4000 dinars with free and guaranteed access to the next step: the « European Social Impact Award » in Belgrade in November.
A great idea needs nurturing. It needs cultivating and supporting, it needs loving care and attention. A great idea needs to flourish. A great idea needs to bloom.
Check SIA facebook page for the upcoming workshops.
It couldn’t be easier…
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